We don't get to Grays Ferry too often, mostly because there's not usually much to talk about over there in terms of development. But we meandered under the terrifying 25th Street viaduct the other day and happened upon a some brewing excitement at the northwest corner of 26th & Federal. At the corner sits the Progressive Worship Center. But to the north and the west, we have some news to share.

Looking up 26th St.

Two homes under construction

At 1134 and 1136 S. 26th St., two vacant lots have disappeared and two framed-out homes have arrived in their place. Cormac Mcaleer bought one of the lots back in 2009 and the other in 2010. In the years since, he's been biding his time, building homes in other places, like Graduate Hospital, Point Breeze, and Francisville. But now he's back to these properties and will surely put them up for sale soon. With prices spiking in Point Breeze, it will be fascinating to see how much someone will be willing to pay here. Stay tuned.

Looking west on Federal St.

Zoning notices

Around the corner on Federal Street, two developers are taking a very different approach. At 2605-07 Federal St., there's a zoning notice for a six-unit apartment building. Next door, at 2609-11 Federal St., another developer is proposing a quadplex. The western project went to the ZBA recently but got continued, and the eastern project has yet to appear. These properties require a zoning variance because they're zoned for commercial use. While some kind of commercial use could be appropriate for parcels of this size, we'd have to imagine that neighbors would prefer residential. But we don't, to be honest, know about the zoning politics in this neighborhood so perhaps the developers are getting pushback for the use. Or maybe for the density, or the lack of parking, or the fact that people seem to resist rental projects.

That being said, a rental play makes a great deal of sense here. The properties sit two blocks away from Grays Ferry Avenue, making for easy access to West Philly. Perhaps more importantly, the Pennovation Works (formerly the South Bank campus) is within walking distance. As that continues to grow, we expect to be visiting Grays Ferry a little more often.